May is Newport Volvo Ocean Race Month!

Newport Volvo Ocean Race 2018The Newport Volvo Ocean Race Village opens May 8th, 2018 – less than a month away! Come experience “the Everest of professional sailing” up close during its only North American stop, right here in Newport, RI!

The Volvo Ocean Race, held once every three years,  is sailing’s toughest team challenge. It’s a 9 month, 45,000 nautical mile regatta that circles the globe. This year’s course is the longest ever, crossing four oceans and visiting six continents. The race kicked off from Alicante, Spain, in October, 2017  and is scheduled to end this June in the Netherlands.

The race includes 11 stopovers at cities around the world, including Lisbon, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Cardiff, and Gothenburg. Newport, RI is proud to once again be a part of this elite group, having served as a stopover previously in 2015.

The Newport Volvo Ocean Race Stopover follows the 8th leg of the race and is scheduled for May 8th through May 20th. The Newport Volvo Ocean Race Village will open on May 8th at 4pm in Fort Adams State Park. The Race Village will be open daily thereafter – 11am to 7pm weekdays, 10am to 7pm weekends – until the May 20th start to Cardiff, Wales.

During the 13 days of the Newport Stopover, the Newport Race Village will offer a variety of related attractions and events.

Fort Adams’ North Lawn will be the site for Race Village activities and an outdoor cocktail cafe. The Volvo Ocean Race fleet will be docked nearby for the curious to visit and observe. Sail Newport will offer sailing opportunities throughout the Stopover, and a variety of events including food, drink, and live entertainment are scheduled.

One of the most popular features of the 2015 Stopover returns in 2018: One Ocean Exploration Zone. The One Ocean Exploration Zone offers a variety of interactive exhibits. The exhibits focus on marine life, sailing, ocean conservation, weather, and marine technology, with an emphasis on sustainability.

There will be special opportunities throughout the Stopover to meet the racing teams, experience sailing, see the boats up close, and much more. All Newport Volvo Ocean Race related activities will be based at Fort Adams State Park. Best of all, the end of Leg 8 and start of Leg 9 race will be visible from the park!

Newport Volvo Ocean Race

May 8, 2018 – May 20, 2018
Fort Adams – 90 Fort Adams Drive, Newport, RI 02840
See the Newport Volvo Ocean Race event schedule online at www.volvooceanracenewport.com. You can also visit www.volvooceanrace.com or follow the event on Facebook.

Newport Volvo Ocean Race Lodging
Make the most of your Newport getaway with a stay at a Newport County Inn and Bed & Breakfast! You’ll find that a Newport B&B offers the kind of hospitality, service, and comfort that’ll make you hesitant to leave and eager to return. Choose from among the many locally owned and operated Newport B&B’s and let us help make your visit one of your best getaways ever.

Volvo Ocean Race – Newport Stopover

The Volvo Ocean Race started in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race with 19 teams and a 27,500 nautical mile course starting in Portsmouth, UK.  324 sailors set out on the first race, many not knowing the conditions that they would be facing on the open water. Three men lost their lives during this race with many other facing injury and disasters.  Sayula II was the first victor in this Ocean race, skippered by Roman Carlin, a Mexican business man.  His crew consisted of two Britons, a Dutchman, and Australian and five other Mexicans including his wife and son.  The next race started in 1977 and subsequent races every 4 years.

The race sponsorship was taken over by Volvo starting with the 2001 race and various stopover points were added.  Focus shifted and a new points system was created.  Since then, this round the world race takes place every 3 years, generally starting in Europe and stopping in various and changing cities each time.

This year’s race is set to be the longest course yet – 39,379 nautical miles.  This year’s race started in Alicante, Spain in October and has thus far seen Cape Town, South Africa, Abu Dahbi, United Arab Emirates,  Sanya, China,  Auckland, New Zealand, and after the longest leg of the race, Itajai, Brazil.  On April 19th, the teams started their 5,010 nautical mile journey to Newport where they will remain until May 17th when they will continue the race to Lisbon, Portugal, Lorient, France, and finally end in Gothenburg, Sweden at the end of June.

Seven teams started in this year’s Volvo Ocean Race, with crews from 19 nationalities and the first all-female crew to enter the race in over a decade, making it the most diverse fleet in years.  This year’s teams are Team SCA, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Dongfeng Race Team, Team Brunel, Team Alvimedica, Mapfre, and Team Vestas Wind. Vestas Wind’s boat is currently under repair after being stranded on a reef at Cargados Carajos Shoals in the Indian Ocean.  The crew had to abandon the boat, which has since been recovered and brought to Italy for repair.  They are working to get the boat back in the race for the last two legs starting in Lisbon.

Racing crews consist of eight sailors and one non-sailing multimedia reporter.  The all-woman teams can race with 11 sailors and a multimedia reporter.  Every team must have two members that are under 30.  Each vessel qualifies by sailing 2,000 nautical miles non-stop.

Teams are estimated to arrive between May 5th and 9th and will remain in Newport until May 17th with various events leading up to the In-Port Race and the start of the Newport-Lisbon leg of the journey. Race Village will be open every day at Fort Adams State Park from 11am to 7pm.  Guests will be able to see the race vessels docked at the pier, enjoy views of the racing action, hear commentary about the on-water activity, see team exhibitions and enjoy food and entertainment.  Both weekends will feature youth sailing races and exhibition sailing.

The Pro-Am Race 1 will be held on May 14th and the Pro-Am Race 2 and 3 on the 15th.  The Sailors Parade will be held on Saturday, May 16th leading up to the In-Port Race followed by the IPR Prize Giving Ceremony.  The teams will then start the race to Lisbon on the 17th, following a Leg Restart Dock-Out Show from 11:30am to 12:15pm.  Newport is going to be bustling with activity and in the racing spirit.